News digest 11 November 2014

News digest 11 November 2014

11 November 2014

Today’s digest opens with a focus on Serco as all the papers highlight the problems at the troubled outsourcing firm which yesterday saw a collapse in its share price by a third after the firm put out profits warnings for both 2014 and 2015. Apparently the chief executive Chris Hyman says the firm has lost “some of its focus and diluted its operational expertise” or in non-corporate speak “management made a series of bad decisions” as they creamed off profits for large paychecks while paying their [arms-length] workers a pittance. The company is expected to exit a host of loss making operations but the main issue is the company got too big for its boots [not that is supplied any to workers during the Olympics], overcharged its customers [leading to a criminal investigation]  and its business model is fundamentally flawed [meaning more jobs are expected to be cut], but don’t expect a quick turnaround anytime soon…

And from job cuts to new jobs, and many of the papers talk about supermarket Aldi’s plans to open 500 more stores and hire 35,000 people in a £600 million expansion plan. The question is what type of jobs and how well paid [admittedly Aldi is known to pay better in comparison to some other supermarkets] they will be? This comes as the furore over the Mail’s story about Greencore advertising jobs for sandwich makers in Hungary continues. As ever the reality behind the Mail headline is different from the spin as the jobs being advertised are not just sandwich makers, but also cleaners, porters and quality controllers, the company says the problem is to do with “low unemployment in the area” and that some Britons don’t want to do the job, could it also have something to do with the pay rates [and the company’s treatment of its staff]? 

Then again, the reality of modern Britain according to the Times and Indie is that one in eight people in the country is trapped on low pay. A report from the Resolution Foundation that highlights in work poverty shows how it is increasingly impossible to move up the income ladder, welcome to Con-Dem Britain…

And all three party leaders addressed the CBI yesterday – or as the Morning Star puts it “sucked up to CBI fat cats” with the right wing press looking to vilify Labour leader Ed Miliband [they failed], what would have been nice was a challenge over pay, and thanks to Archbishop of York John Sentamu there was a strong demand for firms to pay the living wage, he said: “Let us make paying the living wage the litmus test for a fair recovery … most businesses can afford to pay the living wage and they should just get on with it.” Prime minister David Cameron also faced pressure over uncertainty related to the EU referendum he has planned [business don’t like it], but he faces much more pressure after a shambles of a vote [or lack of one] on the European arrest warrant which he pledged would happen before the Rochester by-election, the front page of the Telegraph sums it up as “chaos” and sadly that is probably the legacy of this awful administration and its ongoing austerity addiction…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • May in EU law uproar (p2)
  • CBI suits heckle Ed (p6)(p)
  • 35,000 Aldi jobs (p6)
  • Rip-off Britain tax on women (p8)
  • Gherkin sold (p41)
  • Serco under pressure (p41)



  Times  (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Rebels take Cameron to the brink (p1)
  • Miliband launches fightback (p4)
  • Poll rivals unite to attack Tory defector (p18)
  • One in eight trapped on low pay (p25)
  • Sandwich maker looks to Hungary for new staff (p25)
  • Labour has no clue how to solve its Ed problem – Rachel Sylvester (p37)
  • Serco shares crash (p49)
  • Lower paid get top up as Adnams dips into bonus pool (p52)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Councils find extra £2.3bn in reserves (p1)
  • Britain and the cuts (p2)
  • PM denies referendum plan deters investment (p3)
  • Tory MPs attack May over arrest warrant (p4)(p)
  • Labour’s discomfort presages a stressful campaign – Janan Ganesh (p13)
  • Print money to fund the deficit – Adair Turner (p13)
  • Serco in £550m rescue rights issue (p17)
  • Unilever in legal challenge to start up (p18)

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